Artist info


Roots, Pop

Sounds like

Everything but the girl, Shawn Colvin

band members

Naomi Sunderland - Vocals, acoustic guitar Phil Graham - Guitar, backing vocals John Barns - Drums Les Foyle - Bass, backing vocals Peter Willersdorf - Fretless bass, flute Steve Roy - Drums, percussion, backing vocals Joanna Rose, Zara Graham - backing vocals


Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, AC/DC :->


Relief as local artist releases debut album Press release 15 Jan 07 A small crowd of musicians, industry bludgers, and international guests gathered yesterday to celebrate the launch of Red Dirt Road, Brisbane-based singer songwriter Naomi Sunderland’s debut album. The album, released early January 2007 on the Coffee Bean Records independent label, is receiving airplay on Inverell Radio 2NZ, Belgian web radio Golden Flash, and is soon to be launched on Slovenian national radio. Musicians and engineers involved in the album are reportedly relieved the project is finally over. Album producer Phil Graham called Naomi “the Lucille Ball of recording”, saying it would be “years” before the costs of studio damage can be recouped. “Every week we had to replace something or other just because someone let her near the equipment. Her feet are terminally attracted to anything expensive and fragile. It has all been very stressful. “The incident that most stands out to me is when she sucked up an expensive pair of headphones into a high-powered vacuum cleaner. No one remembers ever seeing a vacuum or any kind of cleaning apparatus in the studio before that. It ruined the vacuum cleaner, the headphones, and twisted the neck of the singer who was wearing them,” said Graham. Naomi recently returned to Australia after two years living in Canada. “I’m not moving back to Canada” she said, clearly agitated by the thought. “Even this swamp Brisbane heat is better than that. Ice is very dangerous to walk on you know and they all get very grumpy when they have no sunlight in their diets”. “I wrote most of Red Dirt Road soon after returning to Brisbane. Australia is so bright and colourful, it’s easy to find things to write about. I think it is a very happy album. I could never have written it in Canada. I was in constant fear of slipping over and breaking someone’s hip,” she said. During the recording of Red Dirt Road Naomi decided she would learn to play drums. Veteran bass player Les Foyle noted her uncanny ability to lag just behind the beat in almost any style or tempo. Naomi’s drum tracks were quickly shifted into the studio’s “This One’s on Valium” file and replaced with exciting performances by well known Brisbane drummer, John Barns. “As a drummer, she makes a great singer”, said Foyle. Barns nodded in agreement. Naomi has a PhD in ethics and human rights and has worked extensively in government and universities in Australia and Canada. At this time, though, she is extremely satisfied with life as an independent recording artist. “I was about to have a mid life crisis at the age of 30. It got to the stage where I just had to dedicate my time to music,” she said. “It’s been really worth it to work with these great musicians and to hear my songs finished. I can say ‘well I finally did it, and here it is’. And so it is. Naomi’s songwriting and performance style is a unique fusion of folk, pop, and jazz, with just a hint of country. Commentators at the launch said that Red Dirt Road epitomises the “new folk” movement emerging in Brisbane. “Bollocks! It’s mostly country,” said Naomi’s brother, Peter Sunderland, a diehard country music fan. He bought her a pair of pink tassled moleskins and a 7 gallon hat to wear at the launch. Naomi recorded Red Dirt Road at the same time her husband, Phil Graham, recorded his album Reunion. Phil and his band are featured throughout Red Dirt Road. Reunion was released through Coffee Bean Records in January. Phil has denied making any of the comments attributed to him in this press release. Naomi only denies some of it. Red Dirt Road is on sale via international online indy record store CD Baby ( Also at small bookstores around Brisbane - check the coffee bean records website for info.